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Year: 2016

William Patrick Keating (Bill) was Born in Glenalbyn Victoria in 1898 and passed away in Bendigo 1984. He married Marie Jane Cummins in 1920. Bill Keating started working in 1915 as a furniture removalist with McCulloch Carriers Bendigo with a horse and 4 wheel cart. In 1927 Bill bought a 1927 Chevrolet to carry furniture locally in Bendigo. In 1942 he purchased a new 1942 maple leaf gas producer and moved furniture all over Victoria. Bill purchased a 1953 Chevrolet. All were bodied by Bill. Bill later sold this to his second son Ken whom employed his younger brother Brian. They continued with furniture removals.

Furniture was often carried on the roof of the van; items such as wardrobes, bikes and other goods were tied down tight. However, one day a bike accidently left caught up on power-lines left them with a bit of explaining to do. When the van was packed to the hilt the jockey would have to let down the tailboard and stand on it holding on for dear life as every bump was felt. On another occasion an inner spring mattress proved no haven and bounced the jockey so hard he hit the roof of the van.

Known as an early riser, Bill would warm up the truck at 4am, have breakfast and then leave. Ray, his oldest son, went with him as jockey and at just 15 took his turn at driving. Bill usually spent his weekends in the bush with a neighbour cutting a full van load of wood. The furniture vans were also permitted to put bench seats in the back and Bill often took people to picnics, races and church. One year he took his entire family of 10 holidaying in the back of a furniture van.

Bill operated from a large shed on a large block with house for his wife and eight children. His family was his pride and joy. Bill retired at 75 years of age having worked hard and nonstop every day for 60 years. Bill was known as a great man with a strict work ethic and was a mentor to many young men starting out in transport.

Bill was proud of his three sons being successful in the family business with Ray in Swan Hill, Ken in Shepparton and Brian in Bendigo. The Keating name continues to grow and in 2016 the fourth generation of Keatings have entered the business.

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